'''Saṃsāra''' is a Sanskrit
word that means "wandering" or "world", with the connotation of cyclic, circuitous change. It also refers to the theory of rebirth and "cyclicality of all life, matter, existence", a fundamental assumption of all Indian religions
. ''Saṃsāra'' is sometimes referred to with terms or phrases such as transmigration, karmic cycle, reincarnation
, and "cycle of aimless drifting, wandering or mundane existence".
The concept of ''Saṃsāra'' has roots in the Vedas|Vedic literature
, but the theory is not discussed there. It appears in developed form, but without mechanistic details, in the early Upanishads
. The full exposition of the ''Saṃsāra'' doctrine is found in Sramana|Sramanic
religions such as Buddhism
, as well as the various schools of Hindu philosophy
, after about the mid 1st millennium BCE. The ''Saṃsāra'' doctrine is tied to the Karma
theory of Indian...